Looking for fun things to do on your birthday that don’t cost an arm and a leg? Get a few new surprises to spring on the birthday boy or girl this year!
When he woke up, the first thing he did was (of course) come down the steps.
Except that today, there were streamers blocking his exit into the living room.
What could he do…except bust through those paper ropes like the KoolAid Man going through a wall.
You can bet he felt special from the moment he woke up. After all, it’s his birthday.
He only gets one per year. And every little moment you give him throughout the day fills your heart with joy, at least as much as it does his.
Making a birthday feel special doesn’t take a ton of money.
And here’s a hint…it doesn’t have to be Pinterest perfect either.
Here are some super fun things to do for a birthday…they are gonna love it!
Here’s Our List of Fun Things To Do For a Birthday
Everyone loves to hear (positive!) stories about themselves!
One of our favorite things to do is remember stories of past birthdays, especially the day our child was born.
Adults might remember fun times they had together. Some of our favorite stories begin with “Remember that one time…” (But you can barely get it out because you’re already laughing.)
2. Let Them Choose the Food
A family we know lets the kids eat whatever they want for their birthday dinner.
(Ok, they probably have a limit…probably not a steak, lobster, and caviar dinner or anything.)
One kid picked salami rolls, ice cream, potato chips, and cereal. It’s one day a year…why not live it up?
In our family, the special guy or gal can choose their breakfast (if there’s time for that) and dinner. They also get to choose their birthday dessert.
That’s usually a favorite flavor of cake with the coolest cartoon character of the moment.
But one of our boys likes to mix it up. He’s had cherry pie, blackberry cobbler, and even banana splits. You can put a candle into any of those things!
3. Book > Card
Birthday cards can be special and all, but I’m not excited about spending $4 on a card they’ll throw away.
I’d rather spend that money on a book they can enjoy for a long time! My kids like reading the same good books over and over again, so books are always worth it.
My favorite places to get a great deal are Goodwill and Amazon.
Thrift Books is an awesome way to get affordable books. They’ve got tons of best sellers for less than $4!!
4. King/Queen For the Day
How much fun would it be to actually deck the birthday boy or girl out in royal gear? How about this birthday crown from Etsy!
Remember to save it just for birthdays to make it more special.
Seriously, go crazy.
Everyone loves to bust through them. You can hang them in doors, cover their dining room chair, wrap the car…
The possibilities are endless!
6. Photo Book
They say you don’t have as many pictures of your last kid as you do your first. But in today’s world where we always carry a camera, that just isn’t true anymore!
Know what is rare?
An actual printed picture.
My fifth born has tons of photos of himself… but almost none are pictures he can hold in his hand.
I made a special photo book of his first year of life, and he pulls it out all the time! Get a free 8×8 photo book from Shutterfly here! (Free for first time users of the site only.)
7. The Kiss
If you liked Everybody Loves Raymond, you probably remember The Birth Kiss. Marie would find Raymond at exactly the minute he was born and she’d give him a kiss.
(You could probably find a less embarrassing way to mark the birth moment. Your call.)
8. Collect Your Free Stuff
Lots of stores and restaurants want to give you free stuff for your birthday. So go collect it! Here’s a list of 100 places that offer birthday freebies.
(If you’re stuck at home, you should still sign up for the lists! I bet some of these places will honor them later.)
9. Pancake Numbers
Make pancakes for breakfast. You can add favorite fillers like chocolate chips, birthday sprinkles, or fruit.
Then shape them in the right number(s) to honor the person of the day.
10. Invite Friends
Spend the day with a good friend. Making time for good people is often a bigger indulgence than spending money!
11. Make Treats
Make some yummy treats. Eat the whole pan guilt free…or share them with your family and friends, classmates, or coworkers.
Grab a carton of your favorite ice cream and a spoon. Today, there’s no sharing.
12. Special Plate
As a gift for their kindergarten “graduation” (which has been a “thing” in our neck of the woods for decades), we take them to a ceramics shop and paint a special plate.
You could do this as a fun birthday gift!
Then use that plate on special days. (Like birthdays!)
13. Do Their Chores
Everyone appreciates not having to do mundane chores. It’s an even bigger treat if your love language is “acts of service”.
Some people might consider this one of their favorite gifts!
(Ok, it’s me. That would be my favorite gift. But I’m not the only one!)
14. Make an Announcement
Does the birthday boy or girl crave attention? They’ll love the staff at a restaurant singing to them.
Or you could have the principal or boss make an announcement that it’s a special birthday at school or work.
These days, a great shout out is to use social media to tell the world how much this special person means to you.
15. Turn Gift Time Into a Scavenger Hunt
Yeah, you could just hand them their gifts. Or you could make the anticipation last a little longer!
Wrap up the first clue in a box and send them on a hunt through the house to find their gift.
16. Ask A Question
Each year when you take a video of the birthday celebrant, ask him or her a question. I ask my kids what they want to be when they grow up.
Then watch old videos and see how it changes over the years.
I ask my husband, too, because we aren’t sure the official age for being a grown up. 😉
17. Go for a Drive
Visit those special places that mean the most to you. Bonus points for creating a scavenger hunt of memories!
(You may be able to visit outdoor places…and if not, at least a nice drive will get you out of the house for a while.)
These fun things to do for a birthday don’t cost much, but they sure make the day special!
If you thought it was fun to see their best KoolAid Man impression…
…just imagine the joy on their face by the time they end this day filled with celebration!
Is your birthday buddy tough to buy for? Give them one of these cool things under 10 dollars!
What are your favorite birthday traditions?